Swapping traditional exercise for high kicks and pom poms

We know that exercise can improve our mood and our health, but most people don’t want to get out of their beds for press ups and crunches. Finding new ways to move our bodies can help us beat the blues. In the spirit of this, Messy decided the best way to boost morale was trying our hand at cheerleading.

The Mayo Clinic recommends any form of exercise to release endorphins and reduce stress. Activities like sports, dancing, walking and biking can give you the same release – and are just more fun. By integrating more enjoyable forms of exercise into your life, you can reap the benefits while still having a great time.

The impact of exercise on your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Low-impact, mind-body exercises like yoga, Tai Chi and hiking help promote mindfulness and relaxation and practice self-care.

Group exercises are a great way to get your body moving with friends and family. Working as a team and building connections is irreplaceable, even if you might get frustrated with your teammates sometimes.

One great team activities that Messy decided to give a go to get us through our mid-week blues is Cheerleading. Of course, not all of us can reach levels like seen on Netflix’s Cheer but any form of movement is positive. It might sound cheesy but it doesn’t matter if you’re any good, as long as you have fun.

Lucy Morrison, who this past year has been the coach of the University of Sheffield’s Pom Cheerleading Mercury squad, shared how the nature of the sport more than lives up to it’s name.

“At the end of the day, it’s more than a sport. It’s about having fun and ,” she says. “It’s high energy, fast-paced and every routine is something different. It’s been such a great experience coaching the squad this year, and I could not image what I would do with my time if I didn’t do cheer.

“If you’re looking for a new sport to try that isn’t just running on a treadmill or kicking a ball backwards and forwards, then get yourself some poms and get stretching!”

Liv, Messy’s resident cheerleader, who was a member of Mercury squad and was coached by Lucy, took up the mantle of teacher and gave us an early morning cheer class – watch here:

Some other fun ways to move your body and get some exercise in are:

  • Dancing
  • Hiking
  • Roller-skating
  • Martial Arts
  • Rock climbing
  • Trampolining

Of course, if traditional exercise is fun for you, go ahead! There is no wrong way to exercise. Why not just lift some weights? Climb the Stairmaster? Or a good old classic, go for a run?

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